by Deirdre Riordan Hall
“I lean against the doorframe, heavy with the truth. I am always in the way. I’ve known this for as long as I can remember.”
“I’ve always been too much and yet not enough.”
“I know how to swim, but I feel like I’m drowning.”
I loved this young adult novel. I admit I had a hard time getting into this book at the beginning, but it wasn’t long before I was drawn into the plot. Sugar’s story resonated with me, and I am glad a friend recommended this novel.
Sugar is a 17-year-old girl with an eating disorder. Home life is fraught with abuse both mental and physical. Sugar is a good girl. She tries with all her might to please her family, but they are never satisfied. She eats to fill the painful void left by rejection.
Other readers have mentioned that the middle of the novel dragged, but I didn’t notice this. I felt the story moved along at a sufficient pace and it kept my interest throughout. It actually kept me awake when I should have gone to bed!
Sugar was a quick read. Deirdre Riordan Hall’s storytelling style is somewhat straightforward, but the story line and characters were engaging. I found myself rooting for Sugar.
The novel has a satisfactory ending, although tragedy (more tragedy!) does visit Sugar’s world. All the ends tie up nicely without it being too gooey-happy in the end. This is an empowering read for girls going through difficult times. Upon finishing the book, my overall feeling was one of hope. This is a story about rejection, how teens value themselves, and about overcoming.
Sugar’s battles tugged at my heart. This is one I categorize as must read for teens and adults simply because the character spoke volumes to me. It is a deceptively simple tale that delves deep. I found it an emotional read that stuck with me after I turned the last page.
With a caution for younger readers about topics covered, I would highly recommend this book for pre-teens, teens, and adults.
Obesity, abuse, abandonment, bullying, assault, attempted rape, contains language, death, mentions of Catholic religion, prayers, rituals.
Deirdre Riordan Hall talks ‘Sugar’ and speaking up against bullies.